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noggin

Will 2009/2010 Be An Historic Winter?

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you cant base a winter on one heavy snowfall and things that havnt actually happened yet

not yet!

gens-3-2-96.png?6

not YET!

:good:

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For Britain as a whole I'd say historic, already the most prolonged cold spell since 1981 according to the Met Office. However it's been a lot more historic in some places than others.

For me the only thing historic is the length of the well below average temperatures, snowfall has been around average so far, minimums nothing spectacular. However in some places people have not seen snow and cold anything like it in their lifetimes.

A lot more cold and snow to come as well so it'll definitely end up going down as one of the greats for Britain as a whole when it's over I'm sure.

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It'll be historic if London is buried in snow tonight or over the next few days I have no doubt :nonono:

and rightly so. let's be honest, that corner of the country IS the hub of the country. we are the far flung outposts, so when they get hit, and hit bad, it is historic really, and very VERY bad for an already spluttering, drowning economy.

still annoying though, isn't it? :cold:

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And, don't forget that both 1963 and 1979 winters were littered with 'At least it's going to get milder!' forecasts! :cold:

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and rightly so. let's be honest, that corner of the country IS the hub of the country. we are the far flung outposts, so when they get hit, and hit bad, it is historic really, and very VERY bad for an already spluttering, drowning economy.

still annoying though, isn't it? :cold:

Yes I expect Brown already has his excuses in if we don't come out of recession - 'this is a global weather crisis....'

BTW, that chart you posted looking good for us as well :nonono:

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So far this winter here has been cold, far colder than we're used to here, but I certainly wouldn't yet compare it to 1981 and especially not 1963. I would suggest the best analogue so far is 1995 for my location. The only way I will change it to 1981 as a good analogue is if we were to reach the all time record set here (which was set aptly in 1981).

Tonight the chances are the record could be broken so if that happens then yes I would say it is the worst if not worst then 1981, but not yet.

The temperature is going down at -0.1C every minute now though so it's very possible.

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That depends on the next 100 winters! If the 1900s had been full of winters similar to those experienced in the little ice age I'm sure 1917, 1947, 1963 and 1979 wouldn't have stood out as much. However, it's still been a notably cold winter so far, with the deepest snow in a good while here, generally 6 inches lying but 8 inches on the shed roof, and in a few spots in the garden.

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Being 31, I remember quite well the winters from the 80's through to today. The snow we had in December and overnight (in the Basingstoke area) is roughly the same amount from those times in the past, but from what I remember the frosts have been harsher and the snow more intense this winter. Essentially the colder temps have lingered a lot longer than I remember, but being human, I could be wrong.

In the past it would take say a day or two to get the quantities that Basingstoke is experiencing today.

For this winter to be a snow quant record breaker it would have to be a)consitant all over the country. and b)very deep quantities, again, all over the country.

I was going to say that "it'll never break the great snows of '40, '69 etc, but how many times over the last 18 months has the weather proved us skeptics wrong? Um, quit a bit so far!

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Indeed we did! And didn't we take some flak! :clap:

How exciting it all is.....I am already wondering what next Summer and Winter will bring. :help:

OT, though....I think age will have something to do with the "historical or not" aspect. My daughters are 18 and 21, and this has been the snowiest, prolonged coldiest Winter they have ever had. I am sure that they will use it as a benchmark in the future.........

......"I remember the long, long Winter of 2009/2101 (!). Just in the first 5 weeks we had two big dumpings of snow. Old Ma and 1 daughter had to walk to work and other daughter's college was closed. There were no busses and the local shop ran out of bread and milk. Old Ma had to buy 3 bags of sand from B&Q to fling over the path and drive. Bristol Water couldn't repair the leaking water pipe in the front garden because of all the snow, despite the fact that they were supposed to have mended it before the other lot of snow in December. Aaarrrrr, that were what I call a Winter."

:help:

Aye - yu tell 'emm now and they won't believe yu -

But seriously folks the cawld would have to last until Paddie's day and intensify to equal '63, though the north and Scotland where they did not have the thaw after Christmas have got a head start on us in the "sunny south".

Mind you according to Jo B this will be the first of many such winters.

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This winter is way off 47 and 63 because we're only on January 6th! If it stays like this for 2 more months then we are in contention! I can't remember the early 80's but what this winter has missed that they had is extreme nightime low temperatures, as in -20 widely across Scotland and in a few prone places in England and Wales. This weekend might sort that out though. From what I gather the 80's spells were fairly intense but shortlived affairs (the longest being 81/82 which we have equaled in terms of length nearly), if we get some -20's on the board then I think we can say we have beaten them - next in line I suppose would be 39/40 and 78/79? Fingers crossed, wood touched.

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you cant base a winter on one heavy snowfall and things that havnt actually happened yet

Theres been more than one major snowfall here so far,

make that 3 with the white christmas 2.5 inches.

Last weeks easterly 9inches today 5 to 6inches.

Temperatures are already at -4.5c with a moderate NE wind!!!

Very powdery snow now.

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One other stat which I've put in the CET thread a few times now is this one, for those who are mentioning about the lack of 'exceptional cold' with regards to historic status...

If we get down -0.9C as an average for the first 10 days (and I can tell you, thats pretty much nailed on now) then it will be the coldest first 10 days since 1894.

IMO that represents an exceptional spell of cold weather for the time of year...

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I've no idea if it will be viewed as historic - guess much depends on what happens later this month and next - however there are aspects of this to me make this winter exceptional.

In particular, it's the length of cold spell. I think now for over two weeks the temperatures in Glasgow have been below 5C which in itself is nothing too out of the ordinary. However for much of this time, day and night, it has been at most freezing point or below. We've had two considerable falls of snow - one on Dec 22nd and another overnight on Monday 4th Jan, coupled with other minor falls, which has seen snow on the ground in residential areas for over a fortnight. Usual form for Glasgow is for any snow to last a week at the most and be washed away by rain, and even cold spells I can remember in 1995 (-20C) and Dec 2000 lasted around a week or so.

Because of the period of time we've had sub zero temps for, on two occasions now, once just after Xmas and also this morning, I've seen ice on the River Clyde on Glasgow city centre. I have never once witnessed this in my 28 years on the planet, and to be honest is something I never ever expected to witness at all. If I get a chance I'll take a picture tomorrow, as I've no doubt it will still be there then! That to me is incredible.

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One other stat which I've put in the CET thread a few times now is this one, for those who are mentioning about the lack of 'exceptional cold' with regards to historic status...

If we get down -0.9C as an average for the first 10 days (and I can tell you, thats pretty much nailed on now) then it will be the coldest first 10 days since 1894.

IMO that represents an exceptional spell of cold weather for the time of year...

idoes indeed KW

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Also, in my UK winter snowiness classification (where individual snow events are ranked from 1 to 5 in terms of severity and distribution), it will only take 4 points' worth of future snow events to surpass last winter's total. Something tells me that the individual events of Thursday/Friday and Saturday/Sunday are going to produce at least that, even going by the most conservative estimates- while a total of 6-8 is not out of the question. Last winter was very close to the long-term average for snow, averaged over the UK as a whole.

Considering that until last year, many people were wondering if we'd ever see a winter as snowy as the twentieth century average again, to more or less reach it by 10 January is pretty astonishing. I will be very interested to see how high the 2009/10 season gets in the overall rankings- if it reaches the 50s it will be up there with the likes of 1950/51 and 1954/55 and indeed 1962/63 for snowiness.

The statistic for the first third of January is also astonishing. What's particularly notable is that these synoptics usually don't develop and persist until later in the season, so we're getting sustained cold at a time of the season when very few past winters have had it. Across Scotland, the spell may be closer to record-breaking than over England and Wales, because even when the Atlantic came in on Boxing Day most of Scotland remained cold and snowy.

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This winter is way off 47 and 63 because we're only on January 6th! If it stays like this for 2 more months then we are in contention! I can't remember the early 80's but what this winter has missed that they had is extreme nightime low temperatures, as in -20 widely across Scotland and in a few prone places in England and Wales. This weekend might sort that out though. From what I gather the 80's spells were fairly intense but shortlived affairs (the longest being 81/82 which we have equaled in terms of length nearly), if we get some -20's on the board then I think we can say we have beaten them - next in line I suppose would be 39/40 and 78/79? Fingers crossed, wood touched.

January 1985 was a 3 week cold snowy spell but less snow to now and it was all powdery.

My favourite winter month will always be february 1985 for that intense blizzard 10inches, followed by easterly gales sunshine and ground blizzards no snow showers after just drifting for a week to 10 days of the same snowcover. :pardon:

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For me, the only real way to compare past winters is using a winter index.

Manchester Winter Index = 10 x [(number of days with falling sleet/snow)+(number of days with lying snow at 9am)+(number of days with minima of 0C or less)] divided by the mean winter maximum.

It has rocketed right up over recent days but can fall back due to the winter mean maximum which will rise in value when we get milder days. Even so, I can't it see it being sub 50 by winter's end.

Manchester winter indices from 1973-74 to 2008-09

1978-79: 262

1985-86: 159

1981-82: 149

1976-77: 141

1984-85: 140

1995-96: 135

1990-91: 126

2008-09: 105

1986-87: 100

1977-78: 90

1980-81: 90

1982-83: 85

2009-10: 85 up to 5th January

1983-84: 82

1993-94: 78

2000-01: 77

1996-97: 72

1979-80: 66

2005-06: 59

2001-02: 50

2003-04: 50

1998-99: 47

2004-05: 47

1994-95: 45

2002-03: 44

1992-93: 43

1999-00: 42

1975-76: 41

1991-92: 40

1987-88: 37

2007-08: 37

1973-74: 30

1974-75: 26

1989-90: 26

1997-98: 25

2006-07: 21

1988-89: 20

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I can see that by your index for Manchester, too, it won't be long before 2008/09 gets overtaken. It'll be interesting to see if it can stay ahead once it gets there!

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Its far too early to be giving comment on whether this winter will go down as historic, we have a good 10 days to go until the half way mark - and longer still if like me you class the first half of March as winter.

What I will say is so far it has been a notably cold and snowy winter, probably the snowiest in Scotland and N England since winter 81/82 but not quite as cold so far as winter 95/96 - admittedly the cold broke down at the start of Jan but returned by the 21st or indeed 96/97 - people are forgetting how cold the first 6 weeks of winter 96/97 were - much colder overall than what we have seen this winter - guess its because we didn't see much snow - we should really be comparing statistics to 96/97 not 81/82.

What has been very notable so far is how almost the entire country as seen at least one proper dumping of snow, this is fairly unusual for so early in the season - its been very pleasing to see different areas getting ther share at different times. Here in the South Lakes we probably saw our deepest dec snowfall since dec 81, beating dec 2000 by some margin, however, so far this month we have only seen a couple of inches fall - had that low developed over SW Scotland instead of just to the south of us yesterday then we would have seen much bigger amounts. Most sheltered low lying ground has been snow covered since the 17th Dec, and we have not seen maxima more than 5 degrees since I believe the 11th Dec, and we must be getting close to having recorded nearly 10 ice days so far which will definately be breached by the weekend, the next 5 days look like being ice days here.

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96-97 was cold for the first half thats for sure, but the first half of this winter will very likely come in lower then that, how cold I'm not totaly sure yet but looking at the data currently it'll probably be in the top 10 coldest first half to winter since 1900...

Indeed this will probably knocking on the door of the top 5 soon if it keeps banking in negative days...

96-97 was at 2.25C roughly for the first half of that winter...we are already at 2.53C and thats with another week and a bit of strong cooling to occur.

A more likely target is 76-77 which had a surprisingly cold start as well.

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Manchester hasn't recorded a double digit maximum since 9th December. Using the 10th of December as a starting point, even the winter of 1981-82, Manchester managed to record 3 double digit maxima within the period of 10th December- to the current date.

1978-79: 4

2001-02: 1

1996-97: 2

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With lows of -17C in Benson, -14C around the Manchester area and -9.5C here in the Birmingham area, we also have the low temps people!! Expect a widespread ice day for the UK...

Tonight I think we could even see it colder especially due to the low maxes today. Is a -20C possible for England tonight? We shall see

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If it moderates next week and fails to get really cold or snowy again, then it will fade into the chase pack of significant but not historic winters. I think to get to "historic" levels it would need to go sub-2.0 for January, perhaps one or two more snowfalls fairly extensively, possibly a sub- -20 C reading in England, and nothing too outrageously mild in February. If it establishes all of those marks it would edge into historic territory without necessarily producing a sub 1.0 month. If February is as wintry as the first two months, then definitely historic.

They're in about the same mindset in the eastern U.S. so far; the winter has laid a foundation and it all depends on the second half now.

Around here, we are still waiting for winter (at sea level), I have seen one measly snowfall of about two inches that promptly melted. Even by our rather benign standards, this is a historic winter in the other direction.

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If we were to cut off the winter as of now then I would place this winter about 6th in my lifetime behind

78/79

85/86

86/87

81/82

90/91

Obviously the cold spell has some way to run and there may be other severe spells to take into account between now and the end of winter. Based on what the models are saying, with what is likely to come over the next week would probably take us past 90/91 and onto a par with 81/82 (which matches quite well at present).

My judgement is also affected by my location. I have been in London since 1992, but was in the North east for a period before that. I suspect 1995/1996 may have figured had I been somewhere North of yorkshire during that period.

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